These days of monsoon rain have brought no complaints from Catalina Mt. lovers in Pima County AZ. Last year we watched as flames and smoke moved across our mountains from west to east. Courageous firefighters and support crews battled the Bighorn Fire. “Monsoon season will help put this out” was the refrain from old-timers and weather meteorologists. But we had a non-soon monsoon last summer. Some days I couldn’t bring myself to look up beyond the foothills. My office window, which faces the mountains, held no comfort.

This summer I sit at my desk by the window as clouds gather up behind the mountains  and thunder heralds the arrival of another monsoon storm, or a full morning of steady rain. The rain here in Tucson has a smell like wetness, almost soggy, but fresh. It is clean and comfortable (well, except for the big thunder boomers last week at 2:00 AM). This summer our usually parched and brown foothills are dressed in a velvety green cover. Monsoon rainbows stop by frequently.

Dinner and a rainbow at Redemptorist Center

Beautiful rainbow arc on the Eastside

Rainbow over Sabino Springs








When the rain ceases, there’s a brightness in the sky even with the thick blanket of white and grey passing clouds. The air is heavy and humid. It reminds me of summer days in my childhood oasis in Miller Place on the North Shore of Long Island NY. A big difference in geography but the same feeling of calm and easiness in the day.

It’s no accident that the full title of my memoir is Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort. If you have or had a summer comfort place, you know what I mean. I live 2500 miles from Miller Place now. In spite of loving my now desert home, I yearn for Miller Place. I think I have to read my book again.


Other people feel this summer love too:

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.  ~ Sam Keen

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.  ~ Ada Louise Huxtable

How about you?

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. In retirement she writes to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it. Ethel enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Zoom gatherings, and anywhere there’s a Zoom mic.